Serme steals the show on home turf

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WISPA des Pyramides 2011, Le Port Marly, France, $26,000

French star Camille Serme collected her sixth WISPA title on home turf this week at the Silver 20 WISPA des Pyramides tournament in Le Port Marly.

The popular stop on the tour, which is just on the outskirts of Paris, saw some incredibly high level of squash all week and the fans were treated to some great matches. The main draw featured sixteen players from eleven different nations, a real international flavour to the tournament.

Serme, 22, was making her return after being a semi finalist back in 2009. She had the pressure of the home fans on her but she started the tournament well, easing past Canadian qualifier Stephanie Edmison. The rest of the top eight seeds all made it through to the quarters without too many problems, although it took Line Hansen over seventy minutes to see off local girl Coline Aumard, recovering from 2-1 down.

Onto the quarter finals and Serme continued to delight the home fans by dispatching Lucie Fialova without any problems. Former champion and number two seed Natalie Grinham ran past Hansen in straight games and this was closely followed by Indian number one Dipika Pallikal who dismantled Tenille Swartz. However, Aisling Blake couldn’t complete the semi final line for the top seeds as she was upset by Joshna Chinappa in four closely fought games.

The semi finals showcased two matches with contrasting styles in both. Serme and Grinham, with their athletic and solid games up against Indian stars Pallikal and Chinappa, two of the best attackers in the game. It was the consistency and retrieving of the top two seeds that won out in both matches with Serme and Grinham both coming through in straight games to set up a mouth watering final.

Grinham, the former world number two , was making her 34th showing in a tour final and a second appearance in a final in two weeks after losing out to Samantha Teran in Mexico last week. Serme was featuring in her first final since losing out at home to Nour El Tayeb in the Open International Feminin de Creteil in February 2010. Their head to heads were tied at one each, although Serme’s victory came as the result of a walkover.

Serme started the final superbly controlling the first two games. Grinham hit back to steal the third. The pressure was on the home player now as the fourth game became very tight, in the end though she held her nerve and closed the match out 11-9 in one hour of gruelling squash. For Grinham it was a second final loss to the home favourite in consecutive tournaments. For Serme it was sweet revenge as she lost out in the semi final here two years ago to Grinham. It was also her first title in over two years.

A wonderful tournament in it’s fifth addition. I am sure we will see it back next year, even bigger than before!

[1] C Serme (FRA) bt [2] N Grinham (NED) 11-4 11-4 6-11 11-9 (60m)

Semi Final:
[1] C Serme (FRA) bt [3] D Pallikal (IND) 11-6 11-4 11-9 (42m)
[2] N Grinham (NED) bt [6] J Chinappa (IND) 12-10 11-4 11-2 (29m)

Quarter Final:
[1] C Serme (FRA) bt [7] L Fialova (CZE) 11-2 11-2 11-8 (27m)
[3] D Pallikal (IND) bt [8] T Swartz (RSA) 11-9 11-3 11-9 (18m)
[6] J Chinappa (IND) bt [4] A Blake (IRL) 11-9 11-7 9-11 11-3 (47m)
[2] N Grinham (NED) bt [5] L Hansen (DEN) 11-9 11-7 11-8 (30m)

1st Round:
[1] C Serme (FRA) bt [Q] S Edmison (CAN) 11-8 11-4 11-3 (28m)
[7] L Fialova (CZE) bt S Wall (GER) 13-11 2-11 11-7 11-6 (37m)
[3] D Pallikal (IND) bt D Lloyd-Water (ENG) 11-2 15-13 11-2 (45m)
[8] T Swartz (RSA) bt [Q] L Eriksen (NOR) 11-3 11-0 11-2 (20m)
[6] J Chinappa (IND) bt E Whitlock (ENG) 4-11 11-4 11-5 11-8 (41m)
[4] A Blake (IRL) bt [Q] C Allamargot (FRA) 11-9 11-4 11-8 (33m)
[5] L Hansen (DEN) bt [Q] C Aumard (FRA) 11-9 8-11 11-13 11-9 11-5 (74m)
[2] N Grinham (NED) bt A Weir-Nunan (RSA) 11-6 11-4 11-3 (19m)

The promo video:

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